Call of Duty Black Ops 4 will land on October 12 – with a preview event on May 17.
The new trailer showed off in-game footage and confirmed rumours that BLOPS was making a return this year.
Before the announcement, NBA star James Harden was seen sporting a cap with the Black Ops logo – which sent media into a frenzy.
GameStop also has the new COD game listed on their website.
Earlier in the year a report from Eurogamer revealed that Treyarch was working on the fourth instalment of Black Ops – one of the franchise’s most popular subseries.
The report went on to say the game was scheduled for a launch “late in the year.”
So, when is it coming out?
The COD will land on October 12 – with a preview event on May 17.
The latter will be the first time we see the game in action – most likely the multiplayer component.
The first single-player teaser material should start landing at around E3 in June with playable ‘hands-on’ code at Gamescom in August.
What’s this about a Battle Royale mode?
Activision could be working on a Battle Royale mode reports the Daily Star.
The publisher is currently trialling a version of the survival mode in Call of Duty: Online, the free-to-play PC title exclusive to China.
Will there be Xbox 360 and PS3 versions?
Nope – it simply wouldn’t be feasible to scale down the engine for last-gen. FIFA games get around it because they use a base engine designed with last-gen in mind – but there are some sacrifices. For one, there’s no Journey mode. The last COD game to come out for last gen was Black Ops 3 – but that didn’t include the campaign and only had a limited multiplayer section.
There’s rumours of a Switch version?
According to Marcus Sellars, an industry insider who also works for various Nintendo sites, Treyarch is hard at work on a version of the game for Nintendo Switch.
“COD 2018 is Black Ops 4 and is coming to PS4/Xbox/PC/Switch,” noted Sellars. “it is set in the modern times and is boots on the ground. The Switch version will support DLC, HD Rumble and motion controls. The Switch version is also being ported by a company which is familiar with COD games.”
The Switch version will also support HD Rumble and motion controls. A company “familiar with CoD games” is working on the Switch port, said Sellars.
A proper campaign
After the magnificent first two games, BLOPS 3 was a bit of a disappointment.
The single-player campaign barely clocked eight hours and paled in comparison to the other games in the series.
One thing Treyarch did do well though was the introduction of a four-player co-op campaign – and we’d love to see this included in this year’s BLOPS.
As with the last game, we’d like to see players have the option to take control of different classes to suit their playstyle. For example, snipers, heavy weapons specialists and all-rounders.
Level design that encourages gamers to use their specific abilities and traits, rather than rewarding run and gun, would be massively welcome.
For all of COD WWII’s greatness, a lack of different character classes in campaign meant every level felt the same – hiding behind cover and hunting for ammo.
Balancing pacing so it’s not all run and gun was one of BLOPS 2’s strongest points.
Some levels would see you exploring areas for a decent period of time before a firefight – helping you feel part of the world, rather than just an on-rails segment.
Multiple endings and Strike Missions
On the topic of campaign, one of the features that made BLOPS 2 the best of the bunch was the inclusion of multiple endings.
The game had five in total, each with a very different feel – but all featuring baddie Raul Menendez.
This freedom helped the game feel much less scripted than the other titles – offering a level of freedom far beyond that of COD: WWII.
To help mix things up, Treyarch added Strike Force Missions – Real-Time Strategy (“RTS”) style stages where you must take direct control over individual units, or manage all of them at once.
These were far from perfect, but the concept was sound.
With a bit of tweaking, and a decent incentive / reward system – there could be enough here to warrant a return this year.
Treyarch first brought Zombies into the fold in 2009, as part of COD: World at War.
BLOPS 3 arguably had the best zombies mode of the lot. Shadows of Evil was set in the 1940s and included the likes of Jeff Goldblum in the cast.
Characters were diverse and interesting – a magician, a boxer, a cop, and a burlesque dancer – all introduced with a great short video.
Rather than just aimless shooting, which is does so well, by focusing on the setting and fleshing out the characters, it made for a much more engrossing experience – and one we’d like to see bettered this year.
COD: WWII took zombies in a far more sinister and scary direction – which left some fans disappointed.
Here’s hoping COD rediscovers some of the fun again this year.
Modern Warfare 2: Remastered
This simply has to happen – the only snag is that MW2 is an Infinity Ward game, so they may be holding it back until next year.
Still, stranger things have happened – and after the brilliant reception to 2016’s Modern Warfare remaster, Activision may want to get this out sooner rather than later.
Failing that, a remaster of the original Black Ops would be welcome – and, should there be returning characters, be a clever way of filling in the back story.
We’ll have to wait and see on this one. Check out our Modern Warfare 2 remastered piece for all the details and rumours surrounding the game.
It’s unknown yet what engine the game will run on, but we bet it’ll be the same base graphics engine as COD WWII.
The Black Ops 3 engine was still very much created with last-gen in mind. While it looked the part, we’d expect a huge step up this year.
This will be a huge part of this year’s game, although we’ve heard next to nothing. Expect fast-paced action with plenty of futuristic gadgets.
The last game introduced a momentum-based movement system, where players used thruster packs to perform slow boosts into the air as well as wall running and sliding.
Treyarch also implemented a character system called “Specialists”, where players pick from 10 different soldiers, each with either a unique weapon and ability.
A “Gunsmith” allowed gamers play around with aesthetic variations in weapon attachments, while the Paintshop feature let them layers to create their own custom prints.